Monday, April 03, 2006


The newest game sensation sweeping the nation: Airport Please-Don’t-Sit-Next-To-Me Bingo.

Contestant number one: The screaming baby over by the window with the pacing mother. Mom looks frantic and too young to have a child. Will the put-upon woman be able to assuage the child’s pain during take off and landing? Will any sleep be achieved on the flight if the adorable child practices her vocal prowess in the seat next to yours? Will her high soprano shrieks shatter the windows in the plane, causing you and all of your belongings to be sucked out into space?

Contestant number two: The guy with the controlled but loud voice, insisting, “I don’t care if you get an abortion, I just want to know why. Are you looking for a better gene pool? Is there something about my D.N.A. that just doesn’t pass muster?” Curiosity over the other side of the phone conversation is quickly dismissed as it becomes clear that he isn’t on the phone; the voice he is responding to is in his head. His conversation gets louder and more insistent; then, in an unexpected twist, changes to a faux Scottish accent. Suddenly, Willie the groundskeeper is graphically insisting in full voice that he’ll match his genetic material to any man’s in the country. Who wouldn't want to be strapped next to this guy for a five hour flight?

Contestant number three: The angry, angry man who is literally stomping on his luggage. His stomping has a purpose: he is forcing the overstuffed Samsonite bag into the metal “your bag must fit into this space or be checked” frame. The bag squeezes down inch by inch, and the man stands triumphant, one foot still on the bag, as he turns to the airline personnel with a bitter, “See?! I told you!” The woman at the gate tries hard to keep a straight face as the man knocks the entire apparatus on its side, attempting to free his bag from its enforced imprisonment. His is the rage that turns a man green, and rips his purple pants.

And the winner is: The pre-toddling opera singer in training, who is positioned two rows in front of you. But mom does all of motherhood proud: the babe only makes her presence known on take-off and landing. One would guess Angry Bagman remained agitated for the entire flight.

Just my thoughts,


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